Urgent Interventions

Sentencing of human rights lawyer Amir Salar Davoodi


New information

IRN 004 / 0918 / OBS 115.4


June 6
, 2019

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership ofFIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received newinformation and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation inIran.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by the League for the Defence of HumanRights in Iran (LDDHI) about the sentencing of Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi, ahuman rights lawyer.

According to information received onJune 1, 2019, Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolution Court in Tehran sentenced Mr.Amir Salar Davoodi to a total of 30 years in prison (to be served concurrently)[1],111 lashes, a fine of 60 million Rial, and deprived him of his social rights[2]for two years. Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi was found guilty on several charges,including 15 years under Article 498 of the Islamic Penal Code (“establishing agroup to overthrow the system”) for establishing a group through a publicchannel on the messaging application Telegram. To date other charges are notknown. Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi has decided not to appeal the sentence.

The charge of “establishing a groupto overthrow the system” stems from Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi’s creation of apublic channel named “withoutretouch” on the messaging application Telegram, onwhich he reported news and events regarding lawyers and the Bar Association inIran. This channel was also used to share personal opinions on various topics,including objections to the detention of lawyers including Ms. NasrinSotoudeh[3] and Messrs. ArashKaykhosravi and Ghasem Sholeh-Saadi[4], and otherlawyers, as well as statements criticising the actions of the Supreme LeaderAli Khamenei and the former Head of the Judiciary Sadeq Larijani.

Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi was detainedin solitary confinement for over six months in Ward 241 of Tehran’s Evinprison, from his arrest on November 20, 2018 until June 3, 2019, when he wastransferred to a dormitory ward in Evin prison. Ward 241 is run by theIntelligence Protection Unit of the Judiciary.

The Observatory recalls that severalother human rights lawyers are currently detained for exercising theirprofession or for defending human rights, including Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, and Messrs. MohammadNajafi[5], FarhadMohammadi, and Massood Shamsnejad[6]. Othershave been released on bail pending trial.

TheObservatory condemns the sentencing and ongoing judicial harassment of Mr. AmirSalar Davoodi, which seems to be aimed only at punishing him for the legitimateexercise of his rights.

Background information:

On November20, 2018, Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi was arrested in Tehran, his office andhouse were searched, and he was placed in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evinprison. On the same day, the Prosecutor’s Office issued a one-month detentionorder against him. Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi was charged with “gathering andcolluding against national security” (Article 610 of Islamic Penal Code).Mr. Davoodi has previously represented various political prisoners anddefendants belonging to religious and ethnic minorities.

On January21, 2019, Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi was chargedwith “insulting the Leader” (Article 514 of the Islamic Penal Code) and“spreading propaganda against the system” (Article 500), and his case wasreferred to Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolution Court of Tehran. Although hisparents were allowed to visit him on January 21, 2019, he was still deniedvisits from his wife, Ms. Tannaz Kolahchian, who is also a lawyer. Ms. TannazKolahchian was summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office on January 5, 2019 andinterrogated on charges of “spreading propaganda against the system” (Article500), but her case was later closed.

Information received on April 16,2019, relates that Branch 2 of the Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran’s Evin prisonissued another indictment against Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi on charges of“cooperating with hostile governments through giving interviews to VOA”(purportedly under Article 508 of the Islamic Penal Code) and “establishing agroup to overthrow the system” (Article 498). The case was referred to Branch15 of the Islamic Revolution Court in Tehran.


Please write to the authorities of Iran asking them to:

i.Guarantee in all circumstances the physical integrity and psychologicalwell-being of Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi and all other Iranian human rightsdefenders;

ii.Immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Amir Salar Davoodi, and all humanrights defenders arbitrarily detained in the country;

iii. Putan end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr.Amir Salar Davoodi, and all other human rights defenders, and ensure they areable to carry out their activities without hindrance;

iv.Conform to all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human RightsDefenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particularits Articles 1, 6, 9, 11 and 12;

v. Ensurein all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms inaccordance with international human rights standards and internationalinstruments ratified by Iran.


• Leader of the Islamic Republic, H.E. Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, Fax: + 9821 441 2030, Email:; Twitter: @khamenei_ir
• President Hassan Rouhani, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 644 54811;Email:; Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir(Persian).
• Head of the Judiciary, H.E. Hojattolislam Ebrahim Ra’eesi, Islamic Republicof Iran, Fax: +98 21 879 6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567, Email: / /
• Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Islamic Republic of Iran,Fax: +98-21-66743149;
• Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights, Mr. Mohammed JavadLarijani, Islamic Republic of Iran. Email:
• H.E. Mr. Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of theIslamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +4122 7330203, Email:
• H.E. Mr. Peiman Seadat, Ambassador, Embassy of Iran in Brussels,Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email:

Pleasealso write to the diplomatic representations of Iran in your respectivecountries.


Paris-Geneva, June 6, 2019

Kindly inform us of any action undertakenquoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for theProtection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 byFIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of thisprogramme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rightsdefenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented byinternational civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergencyline:

· E-mail:

· Tel and fax FIDH +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

· Tel and fax OMCT +41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / +41 22 809 49 29

[1] Under Article 134, the highestsentence will be served. The maximum sentenceunder Article 498 is 10 years. But, Article 134 empowers judges to increase thesentence when the defendant has committed more than three offences.

[2] Article26 of the Islamic Penal Code defines “social rights” as 1) standing in allelections; 2) to be a member of the Guardian Council and Expediency DiscernmentCouncil or the Cabinet and being appointed as the Deputy of the President; 3)taking any government posts; 3) taking top posts in the judiciary; 4) electionto associations and parties; 5) being editor or director of any media; 6)employment in any government institution; 7) working as a lawyer or publicnotary; 8) election as a guardian, trustee, administrator, overseer, or operatorof public endowments; 9) election as an arbitrator and expert in officialbodies; 10) use state medals and medallions and honorary titles; 11) establish,manage, or membership, in the board of directors of governmental, cooperative,and private companies or to register a commercial name or an educational,research, cultural or scientific institute.

[3] See Observatory Urgent Appeal IRN 001/ 0618 / OBS 085.1, published on March 12, 2019.

[4] See Observatory Urgent Appeal IRN 003/ 0818 / OBS 106, published on August 23, 2018.

[5] See Observatory Urgent Appeal IRN 004 / 0918 / OBS 115.3, published on April 19, 2019.

[6] See Observatory Urgent Appeal IRN 002/ 0219 / OBS 017, published on February 19, 2019. @font-face { font-family: "MS Mincho";}@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math";}@font-face { font-family: "@MS Mincho";}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }h1 { margin: 24pt 0cm 0.0001pt 21.6pt; text-indent: -21.6pt; break-after: avoid; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); font-weight: normal; }p.MsoHeader, li.MsoHeader, div.MsoHeader { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }p.MsoFooter, li.MsoFooter, div.MsoFooter { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }span.MsoFootnoteReference { vertical-align: super; }p.MsoBodyText, li.MsoBodyText, div.MsoBodyText { margin: 0cm 0cm 7pt; line-height: 120%; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed { color: rgb(149, 79, 114); text-decoration: underline; }span.Heading1Char { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }span.FooterChar { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }span.FootnoteCharacters { }span.BodyTextChar { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }span.FooterChar1 { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }span.HeaderChar { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 10); }span.Strong1 { font-weight: bold; }p.ListParagraph1, li.ListParagraph1, div.ListParagraph1 { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt 36pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Calibri", sans-serif; }div.WordSection1 { }ol { margin-bottom: 0cm; }ul { margin-bottom: 0cm; }